Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Placing the burden on consumers

More and more it seems the onus is being placed on consumers to protect themselves from fraud, with less emphasis on requiring financial institutions and businesses to act as the first line of defense:

Consumer savvy can help prevent identity theft

Online security: best defense is your head

Our digital lifestyles are giving Internet pickpockets new opportunities for online shakedowns.

So consumers and regulators are increasingly demanding more protection from Internet companies. Last week, the advocacy group Center for Democracy and Technology issued a report that said Internet companies are responding by offering more online security and policies, such as erasing search histories.

Security experts, however, say some of the most important protections aren't found online but in the heads of Internet users. All too often online consumers drop their guard, exposing themselves to fraud, spyware and other malicious attacks.

While vigilance is key, it's not a cureall for the often sophisticated strategies of identity theives. That's where legal safeguards come into play.

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